Poets | Bookstore | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
April 16th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 103,948 comments.
T.S. Eliot - Rhapsody on a Windy Night

TWELVE o’clock.
Along the reaches of the street
Held in a lunar synthesis,
Whispering lunar incantations
Dissolve the floors of memory
And all its clear relations
Its divisions and precisions,
Every street lamp that I pass
Beats like a fatalistic drum,
And through the spaces of the dark
Midnight shakes the memory
As a madman shakes a dead geranium.

Half-past one,
The street-lamp sputtered,
The street-lamp muttered,
The street-lamp said, “Regard that woman
Who hesitates toward you in the light of the door
Which opens on her like a grin.
You see the border of her dress
Is torn and stained with sand,
And you see the corner of her eye
Twists like a crooked pin.”

The memory throws up high and dry
A crowd of twisted things;
A twisted branch upon the beach
Eaten smooth, and polished
As if the world gave up
The secret of its skeleton,
Stiff and white.
A broken spring in a factory yard,
Rust that clings to the form that the strength has left
Hard and curled and ready to snap.

Half-past two,
The street-lamp said,
“Remark the cat which flattens itself in the gutter,
Slips out its tongue
And devours a morsel of rancid butter.”
So the hand of the child, automatic,
Slipped out and pocketed a toy that was running along the quay.
I could see nothing behind that child’s eye.
I have seen eyes in the street
Trying to peer through lighted shutters,
And a crab one afternoon in a pool,
An old crab with barnacles on his back,
Gripped the end of a stick which I held him.

Half-past three,
The lamp sputtered,
The lamp muttered in the dark.
The lamp hummed:
“Regard the moon,
La lune ne garde aucune rancune,
She winks a feeble eye,
She smiles into corners.
She smooths the hair of the grass.
The moon has lost her memory.
A washed-out smallpox cracks her face,
Her hand twists a paper rose,
That smells of dust and eau de Cologne,
She is alone
With all the old nocturnal smells
That cross and cross across her brain.”
The reminiscence comes
Of sunless dry geraniums
And dust in crevices,
Smells of chestnuts in the streets,
And female smells in shuttered rooms,
And cigarettes in corridors
And cocktail smells in bars.

The lamp said,
“Four o’clock,
Here is the number on the door.
Memory!
You have the key,
The little lamp spreads a ring on the stair.
Mount.
The bed is open; the tooth-brush hangs on the wall,
Put your shoes at the door, sleep, prepare for life.”

The last twist of the knife.

Share |

Added: Jan 31 2004 | Viewed: 17014 times | Comments and analysis of Rhapsody on a Windy Night by T.S. Eliot Comments (74)

Rhapsody on a Windy Night - Comments and Information

Poet: T.S. Eliot
Poem: 4. Rhapsody on a Windy Night
Volume: Prufrock and Other Observations
Year: Published/Written in 1917
Poem of the Day: Apr 9 2010

Comment 74 of 74, added on April 1st, 2014 at 10:33 AM.
fnJQzNjSdsIRLz

JehCLv I am so grateful for your article.Much thanks again. Want more.

seo for cheap from Macedonia
Comment 73 of 74, added on April 1st, 2014 at 4:55 AM.
tqBheBtcVMeKVP

d8FlTg Very informative blog.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

check it out from Hungary
Comment 72 of 74, added on March 22nd, 2014 at 3:49 PM.
BQWyzcDnaExHo

tPu0l2 I really enjoy the article.Really thank you! Really Great.

nice seo guys from Rwandese Republic (Rwanda)

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, Rhapsody on a Windy Night, has received 74 comments. Click here to read them, and perhaps post a comment of your own.

Poem Info

Eliot Info
Copyright © 2000-2012 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links | Bookstore